February 1, 2013

Doing his part to correct misperceptions about general aviation, Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-4-KS) used a recent “Dear Colleague” letter to put forward the facts about the industry’s importance to citizens, companies and communities.

The letter, included in its entirety below, is the first in a series of missives the congressman intends to send to his fellow lawmakers each month. The series of letters will highlight messages at the core of the No Plane No Gain advocacy campaign, which is jointly sponsored by NBAA and the General Aviation Manufacturers Association.

Opening with a bold, red headline, the letter calls upon elected officials to, “Get the Facts about General Aviation,” with an underline emphasizing “facts.”

In a half-dozen facts attributed to the No Plane No Gain program, Pompeo concisely conveys the role of business aviation in supporting jobs, generating economic activity, helping companies succeed and connecting towns that often have little or no airline service.

The congressman concludes his letter by urging his colleagues “to take the time to learn more about general aviation and the value it brings to our economy,” and invites readers to visit the No Plane, No Gain advocacy campaign website, www.noplanenogain.org.

Pompeo has long been a champion for the industry; coming to Washington, D.C., in 2010 to take up his first term in office, his first-hand understanding about business aviation was, and remains, informed by its presence in his fourth congressional district of Kansas, which is often described as the “Air Capital of the World.”

Graduating first in the U.S. Military Academy Class of 1986 at West Point, Pompeo fulfilled his military obligation, and then earned a law degree at Harvard. After practicing law for three years he returned to Kansas where, with three partners, he founded Thayer Aerospace in Wichita. In less than a decade the firm, which manufactured airframe components and aerospace assemblies for customers such as Cessna, Hawker Beech, Gulfstream, and Lockheed Martin, grew to more than 400 employees. After a decade as CEO, Pompeo sold his interest in Thayer, which in 2007 became Nex-Tech Aerospace.

“With his understanding and support of general aviation and its importance to the U.S. economy at local, state, and federal levels, Rep. Pompeo is a welcome ally and a leader for the industry in Congress,” said Lisa Piccione, NBAA senior vice president for government affairs.

Get the Facts about General Aviation

Dear Colleague:

General aviation (GA) is a $150 billion economic engine for the U.S. economy, but too few Americans actually understand what it is, how it works, or why it’s important.

GA is not about “corporate fat-cats;” it’s about productivity. Largely utilized by small and mid-sized companies to move people and equipment in the most efficient, cost-effective way, general aviation is absolutely essential to the competitiveness and productivity of companies around the country. GA is simply a business productivity tool—much like cell phones and computers.

Here are some FACTS about General Aviation, as collected by the “No Plane, No Gain” advocacy coalition.

  • FACT: Business aviation contributes $150 billion to U.S. economic output and employs more than 1.2 million people. (GAMA)
  • FACT: Few flights carry executives. 74% are time-critical trips by sales, technical and middle management employees. (NBAA, Louis Harris Study)
  • FACT: Almost all commercial airline flights go from only 70 major hubs. Even worse, the airlines have abandoned nearly 100 mid-sized cities in just the last year.
  • FACT: Business aviation reaches over 5,000 public-use airports in the U.S., providing communities large and small with fast, flexible, safe, secure and cost-effective access to destinations across the country and around the world.
  • FACT: America dominates business aviation manufacturing. Half the general aviation airplanes manufactured in the United States are exported, helping our balance of trade.
  • FACT: Even the handful of manufacturers outside the U.S. “complete” their aircraft here in America, adding avionics, electronics, automation systems, engines, paint, interiors and other aircraft components manufactured here in the U.S.

I hope you to take the time to learn more about general aviation and the value it brings to our economy. For more information, go to http://www.noplanenogain.org, or contact Jim Richardson of my staff at jim.richardson@mail.house.gov or x5-6216.


Mike Pompeo

Member of Congress